Lists in Review with Elisha Stam

Elisha Stam

Lists are literature, just like Byron, Keats or Atwood.

Hammer In The News presents a weekly list review to help you ponder and reflect on life.  Internet lists abound, yet there’s a lack of serious reviews, or a literary treatment of the medium.

Elisha Stam, writer and book reviewer, wants us to look differently at lists. To capture their raw and simple beauty, to nurture their growth, and to place their authors on the literary pedestal, until now, reserved only for the Hemingways and the Shakespeares.

Welcome to Lists in Review.

This week’s list comes to us from Jeff Bredenberg, Readers Digest‘s masterful list curator.


The layout can be as important as the list itself – Elisha Stam

A simple perusal on the site reveals hundreds of beautiful lists in a stylish “slideshow” technique (see image right), which is extremely hot right now because it integrates easy browsing with simple images.

But the reason I settled on 13 Ways to Beat an Afternoon Slump   was because of its powerful tagline:  “It’s tough to beat, but we’ve got 13 tricks and tips to help you feel more energized and be more productive for the rest of the day.”  After all, who doesn’t hate the afternoon slump?

I thought all thirteen of the suggestions were powerfully worded and commanding, which is important in a list.  A list needs to convince the reader to try new things, and Bredenberg didn’t disappoint.  One suggestion was to try tea in the afternoon rather than coffee. I’m not going to lie, I think a coffee would make me feel less “slumpy” but I’m willing to give tea a try because of the sheer authority Bredenberg conveyed on the issue.

My favorite of the thirteen, by far, was “Get Minty” (number six) – It suggests rubbing peppermint oil into the palms of your hands and even on your face, when a slump arrives.  It’s such a powerful image, you can almost smell the peppermint. Imagine how great you’d feel in your cubicle!

As always, Bredenberg brings a solid list that adds to his mounting body of literature.  If you are looking for some solutions for your afternoon slump, you MUST read this list. You won’t be disappointed.

Overall I give 13 Ways to Beat the Afternoon Slump an enthusiastic Four Checks out of Five.

Elisha Stam is a Hamilton writer.  Catch more of her reviews on her blog, Past Page Ten.

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2 thoughts on “Lists in Review with Elisha Stam

  1. Pingback: List Review of 21 Pictures That Will Restore Your Faith In Humanity | Hammer In The News

  2. Pingback: Always Fresh? Tim Hortons identifies “toxic barrels” as failed latte recipes | Hammer In The News

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